1941 June deportations commemorated on Tuesday with numerous events

  • 2022-06-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Day of Mourning on Tuesday marks the passing of 81 years from the Soviet mass deportation of June 1941, with the national flag flown at half-mast on that day and numerous events held across the country.

At 3:15 p.m., new name plaques will be unveiled at the memorial for victims of Communism in Tallinn's Maarjamae region. The fate of these victims was uncovered by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, which in the course of its investigation engaged in extensive cooperation ranging from the victims' next of kin to embassies. In order for the victims of terrorism to find a worthy place of remembrance on the wall of the memorial, everyone can check the data of their relatives and submit new information in the e-memorial managed by the Institute of Historical Memory

"Many who remember are no longer with us. There are fewer and fewer of those who remember June 14, 1941. In order to not forget, we gather at Maarjamae each year. We light a candle, commemorate and remember. Virtually every Estonian has their own story about it. Today, every Ukrainian, too, has their own story. If those who remember disappear, the notion disappears and things will be repeated. History is repeating itself increasingly brutally," Minister of Justice Maris Lauri said, thinking back on the terror in 1941 as well as on what is currently happening in Ukraine. 

At 12 p.m., Lauri, Latvian ambassador Raimonds Jansons, leading public prosecutor Dilaila Nahkur-Tammiksaar, deputy director general of the Estonian Internal Security Service Martin Arpo, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kolvart will lay wreaths at at Liiva cemetery in memory of killed public officials. A joint wreath by the defense forces and the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps will be laid by Lt. Gen. Martin Herem, commander of the Estonian defense forces, and commander of Kaitseliit Brig. Gen. Riho Uhtegi.

Representatives of the Tallinn Memento association will lay wreaths and flowers at the base of the statue of Linda in Tallinn's Lindamagi park.

At 4 p.m., a remembrance day ceremony will begin at the memorial to victims of Communism at Maarjamae with speeches to be given by President of the Riigikogu Juri Ratas, the minister of justice, Maris Lauri, Latvian ambassador, Raimonds Jansons, chairman of the board of the Estonian Memento Association Arnold Aljaste and chair of the board of the Estonian National Youth Council Triin Roos. Pastor of the congregation of St. Mary's Cathedral Arho Tuhkru will lead the memorial service. Music will be provided at the ceremony by Toomas Lunge. All guests can lay their wreaths and flowers at the foot of the memorial after the ceremony. 

An open air concert will be given after the ceremony by the Tallinn Chamber Choir at 5 p.m.

From Tuesday morning until late in the evening, an installation, titled "Pisarate vagun" ("Wagon of Tears"), will be displayed on Freedom Square in Tallinn at the initiative of the Estonian Institute of Human Rights. Estonian officers and military personnel arrested on June 14 across the country and sent to labor camps in Russia will also be paid tribute to virtually.

Events will be held on the Day of Mourning across the country. Ceremonies and memorial events will be held at Haapsalu cathedral's baptismal chapel, at the Okaskroon monument in Rakvere, memorial to the victims of repressions in Voru and at the Polva and Veriora train stations.

Ceremonies will also be held at Leinapark (Park of Mourning) in Parnu, as well as in Varska, at the Port of Lehtma in Hiiumaa and in the park of Viljandi Manor.

The events on June 14 are organized by the Institute of Human Rights, Institute of Historical Memory, Ministry of Justice, Federation of Estonian Student Unions, Estonian National Youth Council, Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom, Memento association and memorial organizations to victims of repressions.